Steve Kerr really read the Warriors the riot act Tuesday night, which is to say he didn’t read them the riot act.
He knew they mailed in the 129-99 loss in Utah. They knew it, too. That’s the problem with good players who double as smart players – they know it before you can yell at them, thereby undercutting the value of yelling in the first place.
This is in keeping with the Warriors’ light-switch approach to this regular season – that having reached a pinnacle that puts most other pinnacles to shame, they have come to realize just how to conserve the available air while still running up wins and ancillary numbers.
And it isn’t that they got beat by 30. They had five 20-point-or-more losses last year, and the parade worked out just fine. I mean, once the team and the city figured out what was legitimate work and what was bill-padding.
It’s that Kerr is stuck not having a way to vent his spleen the way most other coaches do. It’s a small thing, true (although still light years more important than LaVar Ball’s analysis), but the Warriors are so confident in the collective that beatdowns like Tuesdays don’t get repeated. We know this because their entire history of losing streaks is three three-game streaks, seven two-game streaks (playoffs included) and 31 one-game streaks.
Which is why Friday’s game in Sacramento, and more so Saturday’s game in Denver, will actually have a bit of meaning to them. The first, to see how vengeful the Warriors feel like being, and the second, to see if they can deal with all the bizarre treats that the Nuggets at altitude bring.
If they really do feel bad about the level of their disinterest Tuesday, it will show, twice. If they are merely testing Kerr’s patience, they’ll dominate the Kings and then revert in Denver. And if they are forcing Kerr to have a tantrum just to see how purple a face can get...well, I’d watch that.
And isn’t that why we are all here?